Killing Lincoln

Sun Mar 3, 8-10pm, Nat Geo

Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>2/5


‘Killing Lincoln’ is adapted from a book by Fox News firebrand Bill O’Reilly, but don’t let put you off. Not when there are so many other reasons to avoid this misfiring docudrama. Comparisons with Spielberg’s blockbuster are as unfair as they are inevitable, but this is a clunky, over-produced and often risible affair. The narration from Spielberg’s old mucker, Tom Hanks, is laboured and, with its insistence on a countdown clock (‘Abraham Lincoln now has 16 days to live’, etc), sometimes ludicrous.

The narrative lumbers along in spite of Scott Free Productions (‘World Without End’, ‘Pillars of the Earth’) bringing all its customary stürm und drang to bear. And it’s hard to figure out whether Jesse Johnson’s portrayal of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, is an acute portrayal of a bad actor, or just bad acting. The facts, at least, are delivered efficiently enough, but drama is sorely lacking. However many days you have left to live, there will be better ways of spending them than this.


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